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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 10-30-2011, 07:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Which oil is best for e30 engine ???

Hi all,
I'm about to make an oil change in my 1989 325i ,and I wanted to know which oil you guys recommend I use in my engine.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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More than anything, i'd recommend using whatever you've been using. You'll find a million opinions on synthetic vs organic, or heavy weights in the winter, lighter in the summer, yada yada. At the end of the day, being consistent is the best thing you can do. Changing brands/weights/etc. from oil change to oil change is worse than using one oil versus the another. Most BMW techs will vote Castrol GTX 20-50, but I'm a mobil 1 guy and use 0-40 based on higher mileage (which using a light weight oil decreases resistance across internal components).
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My buddy works at Moritz Mini/BMW/Cadillac and says that packaged BMW motor oil is made by CASTROL, so buying castrol full synthetic 5-30 is great for all seasons here in hot and cold a$$ state of texas, should be great for anywhere else, unless severe cold or elevation ail you. Hope you find peace with the amber goodness. I'm running royal purple 10w-30 full synthetic motor oil, royal purple synchromax manual gear oil, and 75w-90 full synthetic royal purple gear oil. and everything is chipper and fresh feeling again. What I imagine the vehicle should have felt like NEW. Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks

Thanks for the info guys,much appreciated.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The manual recommends 10w40 for colder climates/winter and 20w50 for summer. If you go lower than this, I'd be scared of damaging my engine.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Some good advice there buddy... I would go for the Semi Synthetic versions of the above ;-)
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I live in southeast US and I use 15-40 conventional diesel motor oil, it seems to run better for some reason.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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20-50 in most of america. 10-40 in wisconsin south dakota type places.

15-40 diesel oil is good for places with a normal winter.

15 50 full synthetic

that first number is indeed the coldest temperature the oil can see. ideally the 2nd number is 50.

so if it goes to 0 you actually need 0-40. So like I said, most of the us its never below 20 ever so 20 50 is what you want.

mobil 1 had an ad using the m20 in a 325 where it went a million miles with mobil 1 15 50.

absolutely do not use 5 30 in a m20 engine. in an m42 engine it would work but you will burn out a quart a day.
So I felt moved to post because dulbass monster said everything wrong.


also look for oil that has 1200 ppm of the additive zddp, an aditive that our old cars need but has been removed from modern oil for pollution.

its never on a bottle you have to look it up.

I go for full synthetic if its on sale.... Ive only changed it twice so thats all I know.

20 50 is gonna burn the least and leak the least so thats what Id shoot for first.



as far as transmission oil that was super dangerous advice.

there are 3 versions of the getrag 260, and the difference is the metal the synchronizers use.

each has a tag, look it up.

One needs synthetic oil 75 90 works. it has no tag.

one has a red tag, and it takes atf ( which is like a 10 40 )

one has a green tag, and take regular 80 w.


The synthetic works in the green tag one, but not in the red tag one and vice versa.


I personally used redline mt 90 on mine but royal purple might be similar. Im sure the orignal stuff was mobil 1 75 90w that was the corporate partner then.

Last edited by stamar; 03-22-2012 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My parts guy at the local BMW dealership told me to use either BMW branded(debranded castrol GTX) 15W40, or Castrol GTX 15W40. Since I could not find Castrol GTX15w40, I put in Castrol GTX 10W40, and it seems to be good in my M20. But since the top end is breaking in, along with a new intermediate shaft bearing, its only gonna be in there for about 1000 miles.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is the BMW LL01 oil certification. The oils listed here are approved by BMW:
http://cache.bmwusa.com/Pdf_2861cf6b...5-bf45db277fe8

Also:
"What oil should I use? What is the BEST oil?" - Bob Is The Oil Guy

And: Best BMW LL-01 Approved Oil? - Bob Is The Oil Guy

What exactly is BMW LL01 ? - Bob Is The Oil Guy
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